Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bronx Sports: Fizzled #Yankees Break Fans' Hearts

Bronx Sports: Fizzled #Yankees Break Fans' Hearts: Fizzled #Yankees Break Fans' Hearts Yankees were just not good enough By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)-...

Fizzled #Yankees Break Fans' Hearts

Fizzled #Yankees Break Fans' Hearts
Yankees were just not good enough
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- It took 163 games to determine that the New York Yankees were not good enough. And by all means this Yankees team of 2015 was not expected to play a postseason game, but they had their good moments and had everyone believing in July that they were good enough to throw that underdog status about them out the window.
For the third time this season they opposed left handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel. And a better team, the Houston Astros, Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium, epitomized why the Yankees were not good enough. As longtime radio voice of the Yankees John Sterling said, “Ballgame over, Season Over” and in reality the Yankees season may have been over after losing that seven-game divisional lead to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Shutout 3-0, the 23rd time that has happened in their postseason history, Tuesday night was just a continuation of a Yankees baseball season that went the other way the past six weeks.
And three hits in six innings, that’s not good enough in a game that said move on or go home.
“Obviously we’re not good enough right now,” said Yankees GM Brian Cashman, “because we’re not playing so it’s all that matters.” Cashman spoke outside a quiet Yankees clubhouse moments after the Houston Astros advanced to the AL Divisional Series and a meeting with the Kansas City Royals.
Cashman did not see the Astros celebrating on the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium. And it will take a conscious effort and hard work, an offseason of many meetings and much more, if he wants to see the Yankees celebrating in the Bronx on the field and in the clubhouse.
It begins with pitching and the Yankees thought they had it. 
Masahiro Tanaka was victimized once again by the home run ball and he gave the Astros two opportunities to hit the ball out of the park as Colby Rasmus and Carlos Gomez went after the first pitch in the second and fourth innings.
And to continue playing deep into October, as Cashman thought his team was capable of doing, there has to be a way to overcome good pitching and getting to the left hander. The Yankees seemed to do that well until the end of July, but the rest of the way it was a mission in futility.
Put it this way, Cashman and his manager know how long a baseball season is. There are the ups and downs of a long season and there are the injuries that hinder every team. Mark Teixeira was on his way to an MVP and comeback type of season, and before a broken leg was the Yankees top home run, RBI, and run producer.
There was the unexpected loss of pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who as they said was evolving into an ace. But, Ivan Nova and Michael Pineda were too inconsistent, and CC Sabathia returned from the disabled list and showed he was not done with two bad knees. 
And the Yankees hope to have Sabathia back in spring training, fully recovered from an unexpected bout with an addiction to alcohol. They had the bullpen, especially the backend with Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller.
The 40-year-old Alex Rodriguez, who had the unexpected and comeback season, may have showed that 
age caught up to him in the final six weeks of the season. He became the catalyst of an offense that scored a lot of runs until the end of July, but an 0-for-4 night and two strikeouts did not help the Yankees move on.
Rodriguez heard the boos in the ninth inning after another strikeout, and in all fairness not appropriate for the type of comeback season he provided. But he did not come through in the clutch with two outs in the sixth inning, with two on base. 
A hit by A-Rod would have made it interesting and give the Yankees some life, but age may have caught up to the Yankees, even if they feel there was an accomplishment of once again reaching a very abbreviated postseason.  
“It’s hard to kind of reflect on the year right now,” Rodriguez said in that quiet clubhouse. “I played a lot of games and that’s probably the biggest surprise of the whole year. Just a lot of fun playing with the guys and just feel grateful for the opportunity to come back and re-establish myself as a major league baseball player.”
But it was not the A-Rod or a Yankees team that went beyond expectations this final game. The division was lost to Toronto and with the wild card in place they believed there was time to show they were going deep into October.
“The wheels were flying off as the season went on,” said Cashman. “The longer it went for some reason the worse we started to get, Obviously we lost some key guys but also some guys just did not play the way they are capable of playing.”
Those guys in particular were Jacoby Ellsbury, who was benched Tuesday night because the left hander was on the mound. The other guy, Brett Gardner went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and the Yankees at the plate went down ten times via the strikeout.
So it became an issue with those table setters of Ellsbury, the long term multi-million disappointment and Gardner, who continued their battles of failing to get on base the last two months of a long season.
Cashman said, whether it was fatigue or a slump about Ellsbury and Gardner, “The dynamic Duo were not plating runs.” 
Overall as a unit, the entire Yankees team went into a collective slump, and at the wrong time of year reflected by going 30-34 in their last 68 games. 
And the infield that manager Joe Girardi had on the field for the last game was different. Younger, and where the Yankees need to go if they want to get back to the postseason and go far. Didi Gregorius, a pickup in the offseason got better and has become a valuable replacement for Derek Jeter.
Rob Refsnyder got better in the final weeks and earned the start at second for the wild card game, and Greg Bird was at first, one of Cashman’s untouchables that kept the GM from wheeling and dealing to make the team better,
Said Carlos Beltran, who became the lone consistent hitter down the stretch, “Everybody said we were not supposed to do anything, so I consider what we did was a success.” But it can’t be considered a successful season for the Yankees after going home with a wild card loss, and it is never successful unless they get to the World Series.
“Maybe we were out of gas,” said the injured Teixeira who was on crutches in the clubhouse. “Maybe we were too banged up. We just kind of hit a wall at the end of the year.” Teixeira will play next year in his final contract season, so Bird won’t be at first and that means the Yankees have to wait to get younger. 
So the Yankees in the end were not good enough. Cashman will go into organizational meetings with his manager and as Girardi said, “There is a lot of character in that room and it hurts. It’s not a healthy group in that room right now, they are banged up. I am extremely proud of what they have done.”
However, it was not good enough. Cashman needs to see how the Houston Astros got young, had a good solid two in the pitching rotation and used speed and the home run ball. The Yankees may have had some of that when they took control of the division but the gas went dry.
“The team we saw earlier wasn’t the team we finished with,” Cashman said.  Simply said, the 2015 Yankees were not good enough!
Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso 
#Yankees #WildCard #HoustonAstros #Yankee Stadium #Bronx #New York #Bronx News

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bronx Sports: Booze vs. Baseball: #Sabathia checks into rehab

Bronx Sports: Booze vs. Baseball: #Sabathia checks into rehab: Booze vs. Baseball: #Sabathia checks into rehab It’ about #CC Sabathia now and not baseball By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX ...

Booze vs. Baseball: #Sabathia checks into rehab

Booze vs. Baseball: #Sabathia checks into rehab

It’ about #CC Sabathia now and not baseball

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- This is not about baseball when it comes to the situation regarding Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. 

Of course it is about the person, his family, and hopes that this talented and giving athlete will recover from his battle of alcohol abuse. As Sabathia said, “I don’t want to run and hide,” and that speaks volumes.

Because we as a society tend to bypass that the world of sports called “fun and games” is supposed to be a diversion of the everyday difficulties, the latest setback to CC Sabathia does hold significance. And as much as Sabathia’s teammates look to continue their season tomorrow night in the Bronx with an elimination baseball game, what is more important is Sabathia is in rehab and will recover.

The game or the individual?  For Sabathia, obvious the game means nothing at this point and for that there can only be hope that this shocking revelation of alcohol abuse will be overcome and lead to continued success for CC Sabathia.

This is not about baseball. And it has nothing to do with rooting against the Yankees and the anti Yankees fans, as they said on social media, “Good for the Yankees. Good it was them and not us.” No, the proper attitude at this point is that CC Sabathia gets through this and overcomes the adversity.

From a baseball perspective, and for the Yankees and their loyal fans, this one stings. If the Yankees advance in their Al wild card elimination game against the Houston Astros tomorrow night in the Bronx, Sabathia was in the plan to get the start in game two of the ALDS. He has been pitching like the ace again in his past four starts with an improved and well structured knee brace.

And through all of this, as we know now, Sabathia has been battling a bigger fight with his addiction to alcohol. In that Yankees locker room playoff spot celebration this past Thursday night, Sabathia was the first to speak. He was one of the first to pour the bubbly over the heads of jubilant teammates, the first to have a sip of one or more beers that were a part of the entire post game victory party.

But that is always a part of a Major League Baseball team victory celebration, the bubbly and the beer, except this revelation by Sabathia Monday afternoon brings up a question. Coincidence, or was CC Sabathia during a time of his addiction out of line? That is a matter of Sabathia answering for himself, and for the time being he only asks that we all respect the privacy of himself, and his family as Sabathia’s biggest victory is yet to come.

Overcoming his addiction is far more important right now than throwing a shutout on the mound or helping lead his team to another championship.

“We will miss him of course but this is more important,” GM Brian Cashman said to the media Monday afternoon. There was concern etched on his face and it had nothing to do with a big game against the Astros Tuesday night.

We forget that the manager, Joe Girardi has to deal with more adversity. Never mind the significance of that game tomorrow night or that Sabathia would not be available for the postseason should the Yankees advance. Girardi has a challenge ahead, but CC Sabathia has a bigger one.

“He came to me before the game yesterday and said he needed help,” Girardi said. Those words were coming from a pitcher with a multi million dollar contract who was crying for help, and not about an important game. Girardi knew it was more important than Sabathia once again trying to become the ace if this postseason has a long life.

But it is the life after baseball for CC Sabathia, and not the goal of winning another championship now for the New York Yankees. As difficult as that may sound, it is that old and same story about these mega million ballplayers fighting the same demons that are an unfortunate part of society.

“Give him credit,” Girardi said. “I give him like I said a lot of courage to step up when he did. He knew his family and his children were first. When he came in yesterday I was no longer a manager. I wanted to make sure the first core of action was taken.”

That was yesterday as the Yankees finished their season on a losing note. This was the last thing Girardi or his team wanted to hear, but those who have been through the adversity of a friend, family member or colleague dealing with this addiction can understand the emotions that are going on with Girardi and the Yankees.

They are a family, as every baseball team seems to know through February until the games are over.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates,” Sabathia said in a statement. “And I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series.”   Now that push will be for the full recovery of CC Sabathia.

Girardi said, “We have a wonderful clubhouse. Everyone loves CC like a brother. We call ourselves a family. Players have other distractions… I tell players to deal with them and CC did.” And he said, CC has always been a competitor as we are all aware. 

Yes this is another distraction for the Yankees, in a season of many. More so a baseball game tomorrow night does not seem as important and the consensus is those teammates of Sabathia have a similar feeling.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

#CCSabathia #Rehab #Yankees #Bronx #New York #Bronx News

Bronx Sports: Tanaka to Start Wild Card Game at #Yankee Stadium

Bronx Sports: Tanaka to Start Wild Card Game at #Yankee Stadium: Tanaka to Start Wild Card G ame at #Yankee Stadium By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Despite an underwhelming final we...

Tanaka to Start Wild Card Game at #Yankee Stadium

Tanaka to Start Wild Card Game at #Yankee Stadium

By Howard Goldin

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Despite an underwhelming final week of the regular season, the New York Yankees are one of the 10 clubs that have the opportunity of being World Series titlists. 

Yankee fans have at least one more opportunity of witnessing a meaningful ballgame at Yankee Stadium. The American League Wild Card contest will be played at Tuesday night at 8 pm as the Yanks host the Houston Astros. The winner of that contest will travel to Kansas City to face the Royals in the 3 of 5 American League Division Series, which will begin on Thursday. 

Masahiro Tanaka will start for the Yanks against Dallas Keuchel for the Astros. Tanaka faced the Astros once this year, yielding six runs and seven hits in five frames, but not being involved in the decision. In a press conference on Monday, Tanaka through his translator remarked, “I remember it not being a good outing, but this time will be different.” 

Tanaka’s honest responses continued when he was asked his opinion of the Astros, “They’re young and exciting players, and put a lot of good swings on the bat. I need to be cautious.” 

Yankee manager Joe Girardi, in a press conference dominated by questions about CC Sabathia, was asked why he chose Tanaka to start the crucial contest, “I think he has the ability to mix pitches.” He also spoke of Tanaka’s competitive spirit. 
Tuesday’s Wild Card contest will not be Tanaka’s first important postseason game. In 2009, at the age of 21, he pitched in the First Stage of the Climax Series. Four years after, he pitched in three games of the best of seven Japan Series won by his club, Rakuten, over the Yomiyuri Giants. He also pitched for his native country, Japan, in the World baseball classic in 2009 and 2013.

At his press conference, he was asked if he saw any difference between his past big game experience and that of the wild Card game on the following day, “As far as the intensity, it should be the same. Since MLB is bigger than NPB [professional baseball in Japan], the lights may be brighter.

Keuchel was praised highly by Girardi on Monday, “He’s really good at what he does. He or David Price will be the Cy Young winner. He’s that good.” In his last start against the Yankees on August 25, The 20 game winner blanked them for seven innings while only surrendering three hits. 

CC Sabathia-The 35 year old hurler announced early on Monday that he will be checking into an alcohol rehabilitation clinic to get the help he needs. Although this matter is personal and should be private, the both General Manager Brian Cashman and Girardi were peppered with questions about Sabathia

Anyone who knows Sabathia or even has gotten to meet him briefly should be impressed by how he treats others and conducts himself. He has a foundation, PitCCh In, which works to better the lives of urban young people. He has made many appearances in the Bronx and in his native California to do works beneficial to children. He is a human being like all others. Best wishes to him in his very important personal endeavor.

Bronx Sports: CC Checks into Rehab

Bronx Sports: CC Checks into Rehab: CC Checks into Rehab STATEMENT FROM CC #SABATHIA: “Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive ...

CC Checks into Rehab

CC Checks into Rehab


“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.

“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.

“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids — and others who may have become fans of mine over the years — to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.

“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”

#CCSabathia #Rehab #Alcohol #Yankees #Bronx #New York #Sports #Bronx News

Bronx Sports: #Fordham Wins Keep Rolling On

Bronx Sports: #Fordham Wins Keep Rolling On: #Fordham Wins Keep Rolling On Football Opens Patriot League Slate with 35‐7 Win at Lafayette Chase Edmonds runs for 234 yards, two s...

#Fordham Wins Keep Rolling On

#Fordham Wins Keep Rolling On
Football Opens Patriot League Slate with 35‐7 Win at Lafayette Chase Edmonds runs for 234 yards, two scores

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- One thing is for sure of the 2015 Fordham University football Rams. They are multi‐faceted.

Chase Edmonds rushed for 234 yards and two scores to lead a potent offense. The defense recorded 10 tackles for loss and five sacks in holding Lafayette to just 62 net rushing yards and the special teams unit blocked a pair of field goal attempts as the Rams opened defense of their Patriot League title with a 35‐7 win at Fisher Stadium on Saturday night.

With the win, Fordham improves to 4‐1 overall, 1‐0 in the Patriot League, while Lafayette falls to 1‐4 overall, 0‐1 in the league.

The win was the first for the Rams in Easton since 2007, snapping a streak of three straight losses to Lafayette in Fisher Stadium.

The 234 rushing yards was a career‐high for Edmonds, who notched his third career 200‐yard game, while quarterback Kevin Anderson, who threw five touchdowns passes in each of the previous two games, completed ten of 20 passes for 149 yards and two scores.

Defensively, Fordham held Lafayette to 287 yards of total offense with Stephen Hodge leading the way, recording a team‐high eight tackles, five solo, while also blocking one of the field goal attempts. Marcus Fulmore added six tackles for the Rams while also breaking up two passes while Lourenzo Smith and Noah Fitzgerald each picked off a pass for Fordham.

Things got off on the wrong foot for the Rams as Jihaad Pretlow fielded the opening kickoff and then attempted a lateral to Kendall Pearcey but the toss was short and Lafayette took over on the Fordham 10. One play later, the Leopards took a 7‐0 lead on a DeSean Brown touchdown run.

Later in the first, Lafayette moved to the Fordham 18 but a third down pass was incomplete and the Leopards lined up for a 35‐yard field goal attempt. But Hodge broke through the line and blocked the kick, which was picked up by George Dawson, who returned it to the Lafayette five.

On the next play, Kevin Anderson found Phazahn Odom for the score to knot the game at seven.
The Fordham defense buckled down, trapping the Leopards back on their own 15 with six seconds left in the first. A Lafayette punt and an illegal block call on the Rams put the ball on the Fordham 43 with no time left on the clock but the period wasn’t over as Fordham had one untimed play left. Another penalty on the Rams moved the ball back to the 33 and on the final play of the first, Edmonds took it around the right side and to the end zone for a 67‐yard rushing touchdown and a 14‐7 Fordham lead after one.

The Fordham defense gave no quarter on Lafayette’s first possession on the second quarter and the Rams took over at midfield following a punt. After Anderson hit Jonathan Lumley for a three‐yard gain, three straight Edmonds rushes picked up 31 yards, placing the ball on the Lafayette 16. Kendall Pearcey came on and covered the final 16 yards, the last five with defenders draped over him, to give Fordham a 21‐7 lead four minutes into the second quarter.

The Leopards threatened on the ensuing possession, moving to the Fordham 40 but a deep Drew Brown pass was intercepted by Smith on the Fordham five.

Lafayette also had a chance for a score on the final play of the half but JQ Bowers blocked a 34‐yard field goal attempt as the Rams took a 21‐7 lead into the break.

The Fordham defense held Lafayette to a three and out on the first possession of the second half and the Rams made quick work on offense as Anderson found a wide open Cory Caddle with a 71‐yard touchdown pass to put Fordham up 28‐7 early in the third quarter.

Later in the third, Anderson moved the Rams from their own 45 to the Lafayette one where Edmonds scored his second rushing touchdown of the game.

The Leopards had a scoring opportunity early in the fourth but a Lafayette pass from inside the Fordham ten into the end zone was tipped and intercepted by Noah Fitzgerald for the Rams.
Caddle, Odom, Austin Longi, Jonathan Lumley and Jordan Allen each had a pair of catches for the Rams.

Fordham returns to action next Saturday, October 10, as the Rams travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to face the University of Pennsylvania Quakers on Franklin Field at 1:00 p.m.

Edmonds’ 234 rushing yards brings his career total to 2,492, moving him into sixth place on the Fordham career rushing list while his two touchdown runs give him 30 all‐time, moving him into third on the career rushing touchdown list, just one behind Rick Hollawell for second.

Edmonds’ previous career rushing high was 231 yards, set against Rhode Island last year. Fordham controlled the ball for almost eleven minutes in the final quarter (10:57).

The Rams were a perfect 3‐for‐3 in the red zone with all three scores being touchdowns while Lafayette was only 1‐for‐ 5.

Fordham now leads the Patriot League with seven interceptions and 14 sacks on the year. The Rams are also a league‐ best +4 in turnover margin.

Fordham is now 12‐1 against Patriot League opponents over the past three years (the Rams were a perfect 6‐0 last fall and 5‐1 in 2013, though the games in 2013 did not count in the league standings).

The Rams have now won 33 games since 2012, the most wins for any New York City area football team. The win was only Fordham’s sixth at Lafayette in 20 tries.

#Fordham #Rams #Football #Bronx #New York #Sports #Bronx News

Friday, October 2, 2015

Bronx Sports: #Yanks Limp into Playoffs, Party Like They Won the...

Bronx Sports: #Yanks Limp into Playoffs, Party Like They Won the...: #Yanks Limp into Playoffs, Party Like They Won the World Series ( Following last night’s game, select Yankees players participated in ro...

#Yanks Limp into Playoffs, Party Like They Won the World Series

#Yanks Limp into Playoffs, Party Like They Won the World Series
(Following last night’s game, select Yankees players participated in rookie dress-up night. The theme was ‘80s hip hop. 
THE BEASTIE BOYS: First baseman Greg Bird (back center in sunglasses) and pitchers Nick Goody (red shirt, right of Bird) and Bryan Mitchell (far left)
SALT N PEPA: Pitcher James Pazos (far right) and outfielder Rico Noel (immediately to the left of Pazos)
LL COOL J: Infielder Jose Pirela (fourth from left)
RUN DMC: Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (in glasses and black hat, immediately to the right of Severino); Tanaka's Interpreter Shingo Horie (black clothing, third from right) and Japanese Media Advisor Yoshiki Sato (third from left).
EVERLAST: Second baseman Rob Refsnyder (second from left)
FLAVOR FLAV: Pitcher Luis Severino (front and center, wearing clock)

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- CC Sabathia was effective again on the mound Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees hit three home runs and the bullpen finished the job. Of course the significance after a 4-1 win over the Boston Sox was the New York Yankees returning to the postseason after missing the big dance the past two years.

And what the Yankees accomplished in their regular season home finale, and how they did it was always supposed to be a part of the winning formula. They got a good start from Sabathia who deserves to get the ball Tuesday night in the Wild Card elimination game, and his 2.17 ERA in five starts since coming off the disabled list with assistance from a knee brace deserve consideration.
The Yankees were built to hit the home run and they did, and the bullpen threw four shutout innings to preserve the win for Sabathia.

Wasn’t that supposed to be the plan when this Yankees team assembled down in Tampa Florida back in February? They return to the postseason for the first time without Derek Jeter, but got the unexpected production from Alex Rodriguez. And with the exception of the past six weeks, A-Rod has been a key component to getting the Yankees back to playing October baseball.

So the remaining question for the Yankees the next three days, as they conclude the season down in Baltimore, is who will they play Tuesday night and will they have home field advantage? One more win will assure that the game will be in the Bronx Tuesday night either against the Astros, Angels, or the Minnesota Twins.

The Yankees don’t care who they face in their quest now to advance further into October. And as they celebrated in their clubhouse, though maybe more for their accomplishment, all the emphasis was how they got back to October with a team that many times appeared to be heading nowhere.

And though they did not win what they wanted, an AL East divisional title, the Yankees accomplished what they set out to do. The realization is there is a tougher task ahead and the reality of a wild card team going deep into October. Just ask the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals, two of the unexpected who have enjoyed that wild card ride of going deep into October.
Because October baseball is here, and when you get there it is a new season, don’t count the Yankees out before they take the field Tuesday night. They get a good start from Sabathia, or as assumed from Masahiro Tanaka, and if the game is in the Bronx and they hit the home run. the Yankees have that opportunity to move on.

If the bullpen steps up, as Adam Warren and Dellin Betances did Thursday night they have as good a chance as any of the other teams. And they also have Andrew Miller for the ninth inning who will have an appropriate time of rest before Tuesday.Adam Warren pitched three scoreless innings after Sabathia allowed one run in five-innings.

And as A-Rod said, in the clubhouse celebration, “We’re in the dance. Anything can happen. I like our chances. I like our confidence. For us it’s nice to put this behind us. No one thought we would go anywhere this year. But we have come together the last eight months and it has been a lot of fun.”
The unexpected and comeback year for Alex Rodriguez was a part of the Yankees now continuing to play in October There were signs that the 40-year old legs were ready for October again when he got on base twice with a hit and walk. He was the first to say that when the postseason clincher came, well the Yankees had to pop the bubbly.

And after all the adversity of injuries, and suddenly losing their formula of hitting and driving in runs, they felt they deserved to celebrate before heading to Baltimore. Securing a franchise 52 playoff appearance and 10,000th  regular season win in franchise history deserved a call to celebrate.
“The one thing the Yankees have always have is great players,” said manager Joe Girardi who gets an opportunity again to assemble a postseason roster. :Derek Jeter was a great player for a long time and valuable to this franchise. The thing about it is great players retire and think about it in a sense, you have to move on.”

He added, “We will never forget what Derek did for this organization. Yogi (Berra) retired, Mickey Mantle retired, Joe D, retired. All these guys were great players but the Yankees continued to win.”
And then there is Rodriguez, and if the Yankees are to win Tuesday night and go deeper into this month he has to be a catalyst to the offense. That is, not being as bad at the plate as he was the past six weeks in this comeback season.

“For Alex to come in and have the year he had was outstanding and it was a big lift for us,” Girardi said.  And the Yankees need Carlos Beltran to be that catalyst also. His home run in the second inning, number 19, was his second straight off a lefthander.

Beltran said, “We know it’s a one game playoff now but we are not thinking about it because we have three games to play in Baltimore.” And those games will determine how Girardi sets the roster for that one game. Chris Bird will be there and his home run in the seventh inning to right gave the youngster 11 home runs, 30 RBI, and all done in 148 at bats as a viable replacement for the injured Mark Teixeira.

Yes the Yankees celebrated and had every reason to have some fun.  It was that type of season but the task now gets that more difficult and every team that gets to the postseason certainly deserves that.
CC was the guy who the Yankees said deserved to be on the mound for the clincher. “It feels like an eternity,” he said, and no doubt referring to the adversity of the past two years and returning with two bad knees. He wanted to assert himself again as the ace of a pitching staff that has been inconsistent, and Sabathia backed up his claim.

But as Chris Young said, after a bad September month for the Yankees, “Making it to the playoffs is an unbelievable feeling you can never take away. We believe in our club. It’s  about taking these small steps now and winning one series at a time.”

For the Yankees it is one step at a time, and the underdogs all season who have that opportunity now to be the latest wildcard team that can go deep into this month of important baseball in October. 
 Comment Rich Mancuso;  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

#Yankees #WildCard #ALDS #RedSox #Bronx #NewYork #Bronx News #Sports

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Bronx Sports: Red Sox Extend Season-High Winning Streak to Six G...

Bronx Sports: Red Sox Extend Season-High Winning Streak to Six G...: Red Sox Extend Season-High Winning Streak to Six Games  at the Expense of the #Yanks By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Wed...

Red Sox Extend Season-High Winning Streak to Six Games at the Expense of the #Yanks

Red Sox Extend Season-High Winning Streak to Six Games at the Expense of the #Yanks
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Wednesday night’s contest between the Red Sox and the Yankees is what comes to mind when many observers think of a game that is typical of the intense rivalry. The game went into extra innings (11); it lasted for more than four hours (4:10); 40 players saw action in the contest; the lead alternated until the 5-5 tie was broken in the 11th, which gave Boston a 9-5 victory.
Obviously, not every game the two clubs played was that intense or had the same result. The Yankees have won 11,160 and the Red Sox have been victorious in 962 since their rivalry began in 1903. 
Most of the 39,328 who attended Wednesday’s late ending contest left early and disappointed. Many had hoped to witness the Yankees become the first franchise in the American League to win 10,000 games, but instead saw them lose their 7,567th.
They also wished for the Yankees to retain its very slim chance to stay alive in the race for the title of the American League East, but the loss and Toronto’s win ended that opportunity. 
The Yankees still remain in position to capture the first of the two Wild Card spots, but the three straight losses to Boston decreased the previous probability that the Wild Card game will be held at Yankee Stadium. 
What happened during the past two months to so greatly change the picture in that division? The Yankees dropped from first place with a six game advantage to second place with a six game deficit and elimination from a title chance. Since July 30, the Yankees have played .500 baseball with a mark of 28-28 while the Toronto Blue Jays have compiled the best record in MLB, 41-15. 
The young, capable players on the Red Sox have also led them to greatly improve in the latter stage of the 2015 season. Their mark since July 30 is 34-22. During their current season-high six game winning streak they have advanced from 5th place to 4th to a tie for 3rd to 3rd. They are as high as two games below .500 (78-80) for the first time since May 24. If they win three of the final four contests, they will complete the season with a .500 mark.

Bronx Sports: Pathetic #Tanaka and #Yankees fail to clinch

Bronx Sports: Pathetic #Tanaka and #Yankees fail to clinch:  Pathetic #Tanaka and #Yankees fail to clinch By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- They will clinch the wild card spot and the ...

Pathetic #Tanaka and #Yankees fail to clinch

 Pathetic #Tanaka and #Yankees fail to clinch

By Rich Mancuso

BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- They will clinch the wild card spot and the New York Yankees expect that to happen. But when? Maybe Thursday night in the Bronx or weather permitting a weekend series in Baltimore to wrap up the season. They could have finished business Wednesday night and prepared for the Tuesday night elimination game, but they failed.

And fail they did because the pitcher they expect to have on the mound Tuesday night had no command, and the Yankees offense was once again pathetic. It took 11-innings to lose the third of four games to the Boston Red Sox and the 9-4 outcome should have been decided earlier.

Alex Rodriguez reached base four times drawing two walks and his 33rd home run in the sixth put the Yankees ahead 5-4. That should have been the deciding run but the Yankees could not score against an inept Red Sox bullpen and left 15 on base.Worse was an offense that went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and that goes for pathetic for a team that is supposedly playoff bound.

Well, playoff bound for at least one game. And for good reason there is every reason to say that the Yankees won’t have more playing time beyond Tuesday unless there are different results in the final four games.

It goes as pathetic, also because the bullpen a strength of this team has failed. In particular, Dellin Betances has not been doing the job and allowed Mookie Betts to tie the game at 5-5 with a solo home run in the seventh inning. The first of two long balls for Betts went to left center field off a 97-mile fastball.

Betances knew the ball was gone and won’t admit he has an overused arm and is tired at the wrong time of the season. And the Yankees know clinching is becoming more difficult than they envisioned, but as the manager Joe Girardi said again, “This is baseball.”

However, excuses by the manager at this juncture are not acceptable. There are a lot of factors as to why the Yankees are not getting it done and it starts with the starting pitching. Tuesday night they want to give the ball to Masahiro Tanaka, but he was pathetic after nursing a minor hamstring pull and not seeing mound action for 11 days.

Like the night before when Michael Pineda gave up six runs in the first inning, Tanaka played a similar role giving Boston a three run advantage in the first.  Monday night Ivan Nova was respectable but not good enough. The Yankees don’t want to take a chance with CC Sabathia for Tuesday night, and the rookie Luis Severino may not be up to the pressure of getting the start for a one game elimination.

So the assumed task goes to Tanaka, and after tossing five innings and getting a no decision that could be in question.  There was no command on his pitches and the Red Sox went to work early. Tanaka seemed to adjust a bit, but the five hits and three runs he gave up don’t indicate he is up for the task to get the ball Tuesday night.

You can’t throw 36 pitches in the first inning and expect to be effective. And that won’t work against the Angels, Twins, or the Astros, three of the possible teams the Yankees will have to get ready for next week for that one game.

The split pitch was an issue that had no command. Girardi is out of excuses, but what else can he say because Tanaka in the end becomes his only and best option for Tuesday night and a normal work schedule hopefully will get the righthander back on track.

“He looked rusty like a guy who hasn’t pitched in 11-days,” Girardi said. “He’ll throw a bullpen and it will all just kind of fall into line. He went a lot of days without throwing a bullpen because we were trying to give his legs as much time as possible so I’m not too concerned about that.”

Concern should be a factor though, because Tanaka in those first few innings did not resemble any type of control pitcher that is ready for a game that would get the Yankees back in the AL division series for the first time in two years.

“Yes, absolutely,” said Tanaka through an interpreter when asked if he was up to the challenge of accepting the challenge Tuesday night. There were no issues about the hamstring that put him on the sidelines or about over extending an elbow that has been cooperating with all that fuss about possible Tommy John Surgery.

It was simply as Girardi, said rust and nothing else. Again there is no longer time for excuses and it all comes down to one important game. Tanaka said it was difficult coming back from the mild hamstring pull and that first inning it showed.  And he says, whether it can be believed or not, that he is not sure that he is the starter Tuesday night.

“I have not been told if I’m pitching the wild card game or not, but I think it was a good sign that I was able to come out from this game pretty strong,” he said. “It may have had something to do with the long layoff but I’m pretty confident it will be better next time out.”

But where else would Girardi and the Yankees hierarchy go if Tanaka is not ready? There is not much time to make that decision, and perhaps a good outing from CC Sabathia Thursday night could change direction as to who gets the ball Tuesday night.

Girardi said, “Our focus is on winning games and we have to win a game.” One more win,the final game at home should secure the wildcard spot. But as pathetic as the Yankees were the past three nights in the Bronx, and with Tanaka not at his best, there may only be one more game left and that could be Tuesday night again in the Bronx.

Comment Rich Mancuso:  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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